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Divisional Round DFS advice — it’s clank-free!

January 10, 2019

Remember when kickers were a thing in daily fantasy?

It really wasn’t that long ago with FanDuel finally doing away with the position prior to the 2018 season, but it certainly feels like much more time has passed.

It’s amazing to think that thousands of dollars in winnings were sometimes determined by the randomness of kicking games. Mike Badgley’s five field goals on Sunday could have helped payoff someone’s mortgage, while Cody Parkey’s double clanker could have left someone curled up in a ball on their living room floor (other than Bears fans.)

All I’m trying to say is that those fantasy days were dark times.

But I digress. We’ve got Divisional Round games to discuss.

The best way to attack these short slates is to tell yourself a story. Essentially, decide how you think each game is going to play out and build from there.

Indianapolis at Kansas City: This game is set with a 57 over/under with the Chiefs favored by 5 1/2, and while I think the Chiefs win, I have a hard time seeing it reach the high total.

The Colts defense improved considerably over the back half of the season, using zone coverages to take away big-play receivers like DeAndre Hopkins and Amari Cooper. Sure, Patrick Mahomes could still find Tyreek Hill for a long touchdown, but the best bet is big games from Damien Williams and Travis Kelce.

The usual suspects are in play if the Colts fall behind. T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron are in great spots, and Andrew Luck is my favorite QB of the weekend. Even Dontrelle Inman looks to have a real role in this passing attack.

Picks: Andrew Luck ($6,200 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel), Damien Williams ($5,100 DraftKings, $6,100 FanDuel), T.Y. Hilton ($6,700 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel), Dontrelle Inman ($4,800 DrafKings, $6,200 FanDuel), Travis Kelce ($7,000 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel), Eric Ebron ($5,500 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel).

Dallas at L.A. Rams: The Rams are a seven-point home favorite with a 49 total, and it’s tough to see Sean McVay getting away from Todd Gurley with Jared Goff’s late-season struggles.

The Rams should control this game, but the Cowboys have had a tough time with interior receivers, which sets up well for Robert Woods.

Expect the Cowboys to feed Ezekiel Elliott even if they fall behind. Given his passing game usage, no player on the slate has a safer floor. Also, Amari Cooper has to find the end zone if Dallas is going to pull off the upset.

Picks: Todd Gurley ($8,000 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel), Ezekiel Elliott ($8,200 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel), Amari Cooper ($6,500 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel), Robert Woods ($5,900 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel), Rams defense ($3,000 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel).

L.A. Chargers at New England: Sunday’s early game sports the lowest total of the week (46 1/2) with the Patriots favored by four. It’s hard to find much to get excited about here.

Melvin Gordon is a fine play, but I’d rather go up to Zeke or Gurley, or pay down for Williams. Taking a shot on Austin Ekeler isn’t a bad idea if you believe the Chargers fall behind. The safest best is Keenan Allen, who plays in the slot enough to avoid Stephen Gilmore’s coverage.

On the other side, it’s Bill Belichick in January. You’re rolling the dice on wide receivers and Rob Gronkowski’s usage. The Chargers are vulnerable to receiving backs, which bodes well for James White and Rex Burhead.

Picks: James White ($4,900 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel), Rex Burkhead ($3,600 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel), Austin Ekeler ($4,500 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel), Keenan Allen ($6,400 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel).

Philadelphia at New Orleans: The Saints are favored by eight with a 51 total; there’s no way the Eagles cover this spread. The Saints won these teams’ regular-season meeting, 48-7, and the New Orleans defense has only improved since then.

Nick Foles is going to need to throw 50 passes, which means good things for Alshon Jeffery and company.

Picks: Any and all Saints, Alson Jeffery ($5,800 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel).

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